Odisha urges Centre to increase rice quota

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday requested Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan to increase the State’s rice quota under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Official sources said, Odisha Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sanjay Dasburma raised the issue during a discussion with Paswan who arrived here on a two-day Odisha visit.

“Many States are requesting the Centre to increase their respective rice quota. We have formed a committee to look into the matter as the requests are all from rice consuming States. Definitely we will consider the matter,” Paswan said after meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the latter’s residence.

Patnaik said Odisha was getting 1.43 lakh tonnes of rice and 26,000 tonnes of wheat on a 86:14 ratio before the implementation of NFSA in the State. But, the State was now getting 1.27 lakh tonnes of rice and 34,000 tonnes of wheat after the implementation of the Act.

Informing Paswan that people of the state prefer rice to wheat, Patnaik urged the minister to allocate rice and wheat at the earlier ratio to the state. The chief minister also urged to provide subsidised rice to 4.8 lakh inmates of SC/ST hostels.

Earlier, Patnaik had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paswan demanding more rice and decrease in the wheat allocation for the State.

Addressing media, the Lok Jansakti Party (LJP) chief said, “The party will field candidates in Odisha in 2019 general elections.”

On the ration card imbroglio, Paswan said, “I have got the information about it (ration card fiasco) in Odisha and will look into the matter.”

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